The purpose of Maja Munksgaard Danborg and Mariliis Kundla’s thesis was to create a better understanding of the different functions in libraries and how comfortable and inviting lighting can be used to enhance the feeling of personal space. In close collaboration with the community library in the Swedish town of Falkenberg, they have identified four inspiring activity zones for the contemporary library.
The Evolving Library
The digital revolution has made the library a dynamic place of creating and exchanging information, not merely a place of storage and retrieving. ”A library has been, and will continue to be, a rather private, focused and quiet place and we don’t think the development has brought that many changes to the library setting per se. But of course, electronic means of communication need a different lighting approach, for example being aware of the direction of the light source in order to avoid glare on the screens and the need of more power sockets in the room. Nonetheless, the expectations for the quiet, library mentality stays the same. It doesn’t matter if you are researching by going through a pile of books or on the laptop”, says
However, the 21st century library has evolved into more of a cultural house, expanding with the activities available in the library. This brings the general well-being of the visitors into focus, as modern libraries need to be more adaptable and conscious of the lighting, as well as other health affecting factors. The expansion of the many different activities and variety of visitors of many ages and backgrounds forces the new library spaces to take on an extensive change. From a lighting perspective, it is important to move forward from the trend of lighting the space up in a uniform manner,
”Or as Traci Engel Lesneski, Chairman of The Inter Federation of Library Associations and Institutions, puts it: ‘Lighting for the task is key: simply flooding library buildings in a one-size-fits-all approach of even lighting is no longer acceptable.’ The more personalised approach to lighting also means more sustainability – being smarter with the daylight usage, using sensors and smaller light sources has a lot of potential for more efficient energy usage.“